Book Review: Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1970-1979

IItalian Gothic Horror Filmstalian Gothic Horror Films, 1970-1979
Published by McFarland, 2017. 256 pages
By Roberto Curti

Here is yet another prime example of why I love horror reference books. I’d say that I’ve seen my share of Italian horror films in the last 30 years and could pretty much hold my own in a conversation about said topic. But reading through Curti’s book, it showed me a couple of things. First, I don’t know as much as I thought I did! Not even close. Just a few pages in and I was reading about films that I had either never heard, had forgotten about, and never seen. Probably the first. But it also showed me just how great the genre is because even after all these years, there are still plenty of more titles out there just waiting for me to explore.

Curti definitely knows his stuff. With each entry, he gives us not only the usual items, like cast, crew, and synopsis, but also a plethora of information about the film and the people involved with it. While only covering a decade of cinema, it was a great time frame for Italian horror. Listed within these pages are more than a few of some of my favorites, like The Devil’s Wedding Night (1973), Night of the Devil (1972), or even entertaining trash like Werewolf Woman (1976) or Lady Frankenstein (1971), and many others. It will give you plenty of titles that you’re going to want to seek out for the first time, and many that you’ve seen before but now want to revisit once again.

At first glance, you might get kind of irritated because the movie titles are referenced by their original Italian titles. Usually the American title is mentioned in the beginning of the review, but when a title is casually mentioned, it is the Italian title. This makes it tough when you’re trying to find a certain title, but don’t know the original title offhand. But in reality, as frustrating as it might be in the beginning, it is a great way for you to learn the real title of the film, so I can’t really complain about that.

Just like this other volume of films from the ’60s, Curti gives does an exceptional job here, never speaking down to the reader, but definitely giving them enough to wet their appetite for this amazing sub-genre of cinema.

This was published by McFarland and can be ordered either through their website HERE or their order line (800-253-2187). Either way, if you’re a fan of Italian horror, then you NEED this in your collection.

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